Fuel efficiency norms for trucks, buses

From next April, all types of buses and trucks would have to comply with the fuel consumption standards and fuel consumption target, which will help buyers know about the fuel efficiency of such commercial vehicles. This will also pave the way for making the heavy duty trucks and buses less of fuel guzzlers.

The new norms, which have been proposed in a draft notification issued by the road transport ministry, will compel manufacturers and importers to make or bring fuel efficient vehicles in the Indian market. Trucks and buses account for at least 70% of diesel consumption in the country. Currently, the fuel efficiency norms are applicable only to cars and other passenger vehicles that carry up to eight passengers besides the driver.

Sources said the ministry will host details of the fuel efficiency of heavy-duty commercial vehicles manufactured by each company on its website annually for larger dissemination of the information. It hosts similar details every year for each car manufactured here. Fuel efficiency refers to a measure of how much distance a vehicle can travel with a specific volume of fuel.

As per the draft notification, the government-approved testing agencies will carry out tests of vehicles to check whether these are complying with the norms and claims made by companies while getting the type approval. It said all such vehicles will be tested for Constant Speed Fuel Consumption (CSFC) standard and comply with the fuel consumption target. In the CSFC protocol, trucks are driven at constant speed on a test track at 40 and 60 kmph and buses are run at 50 kmph.

Despite the heavy duty vehicles guzzling the maximum fuel, this segment has been slowest in adopting fuel efficiency norms. “It’s a positive move by the road transport ministry. Currently, truck owners pay little attention to fuel efficiency as they feel it’s almost similar across the manufacturers. This move will create more awareness and help us take an informed decision,” said Kultaran Singh Atwal, Honorary Chairman of All India Motor Transport Congress.